Adam Lallana: England have a better chance with experience of Jermain Defoe

England's Dele Alli, right, plays the ball during the World Cup Group F qualifying soccer match between England and Lithuania at the Wembley Stadium in London, Great Britain, Sunday, March 26, 2017.

"We have got to look every time we get together as to who is in form", Southgate told reporters when asked about Defoe's World Cup chances.

"We'd have liked a bit more, but I think really only one team came to win the game and it's always hard to break down a packed defence", he said.

Defoe, 34, missed out on UEFA Euro 2016 with Roy Hodgson's England despite a successful season in a struggling Sunderland side with 15 English Premier League league goals. "It is great to have him in the squad and I am delighted for him that he contributed in that way". "He's had a really positive impact on everyone. he was thrilled to be back involved in the squad".

"He is all about goals but I think his link-up play at times was superb".

Immediately after Sunday's game, Sky Bet were offering 9/2 for Defoe to earn a World Cup squad place, but that had been backed in to 3/1 by Monday morning.

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"The home games (against Slovakia and Slovenia) are the important ones for us in terms of direct opposition in positions two and three at the moment".

Defoe was only 18 when he was on loan at Bournemouth and equaled the post-ward records by scoring in ten consecutive games, one player that remembers it well is Adam Lallana and he stated it is surreal to be playing with someone like Defoe.

"He deserves it because he's been playing some of the best football of his career this season", the 28-year-old admitted. "I think he's here on merit and he's proved what he's about." .

"I can't constrain myself on selection entirely, but I know ideally what I'd want to have".

"I had to keep my emotions (under control), obviously little Brad was with me". "I'm just trying to tick every box, so I can continue playing". In my mind I was trying to be realistic and with the previous manager [Hodgson] I didn't feel like I was getting an opportunity. "We don't have a lot of players in the country who can beat people in one v one situations", he said.

Jermain Defoe has credited a recent switch to a vegan diet as being partly behind his continued excellence at the top level as the Sunderland striker seeks to maintain his form and remain in contention within the England set-up following his goalscoring return to the national side.

It was already an emotive evening as tribute was paid to former England manager Graham Taylor and those affected by the Westminster terror attack, with those at Wembley responding with a dignified display in stark contrast to those who sung offensive chants in Germany.

  • Julie Sanders